SHANGHAI stocks closed slightly higher yesterday as brokerages gained after China's securities regulator relaxed rules on their investment scope and operations.
The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1 percent to close at 2,016.98 points, rebounding from an intraday low of 1,995.72.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission has eased limits on brokerage operations and allow them to trade derivatives for their own accounts in a bid to expand the scope of their proprietary business.
The CSRC also lowered the benchmark for calculating the risk capital reserve of the brokers in their self-operated, asset management and brokerage businesses. The standard for calculating their net capital was also slashed.
"The move will increase the amount of funds used for investment and opens up more room for brokers to promote innovative development," independent analyst Sun Lijun said in Shanghai yesterday. Sun estimated lowering the standard for risk capital reserve will release at least 40 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion) for the sector.
CITIC Securities, China's biggest listed brokerage, added 0.8 percent to 10.59 yuan. Sinolink Securities Co jumped 4.3 percent to 15.42 yuan, and Everbright Securities rose 2.2 percent to 11.18 yuan.
A warming housing sector may also benefit cement producers. The National Bureau of Statistics said 35 out of 70 cities it monitors saw monthly gains in new home prices in October, up from 31 in September, and prices in 17 cities fell compared with 24 in September.
Anhui Conch Cement Co, the biggest Chinese cement firm, rose 2.5 percent to 15.97 yuan, Gansu Qilianshan Cement Group Co climbed 1.6 percent to 9.71 yuan, and Shaanxi Qinling Cement (Group) Co added 2.4 percent to 3.87 yuan.
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